Question #1: What type of driver (inexperienced, rushed, distracted, other?) is the most dangerous on the road today? Why?Our Tennessee injury law firm have decades of experience representing victims of automobile accidents. Call us today for a free informative consultation.
Jonathan: Definitely distracted drivers. The types of distractions increase all of the time. 20 years ago we did not have to worry about drivers texting, seeing electronic billboards, toggling between satellite radio, an iPod and a GPS system. Inexperienced driver's get distracted more easily. United States Department of Transportation's website, The Faces of Distracted Driving, indicates that the under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (16%). The age group with the next greatest proportion of distracted drivers in fatal crashes was the 20- to-29-year-old age group,13% of which were reported to have been distracted.
Question #2: Other than laws against talking on cell phones/texting/etc. what can be done to prevent technology from increasing distracted driving accidents?
Jonathan: Require that the in-car technology be disabled while moving. You should not be able to check restaurant reviews for the local steakhouse from the car's computer while driving down a busy street.
Question #3: In the past 60 years highway fatalities have been in decline. In response, states across the US have been increasing highway speed limits. In your opinion are these speed limit rate increases justified or too dangerous?
Jonathan: I don't think speed is as problematic as alcohol, fatigue and distraction. However, raising the speed limits because fatalities are in decline does not seem to be the correct response to a good trend.
Question #4: Young drivers (16-24) continue to have a disproportionate rate of driving fatalities (compared to other age groups). What, if anything, can be done to improve this?
Jonathan: Both states and insurance companies should require mandatory driver education classes from certified trainers. Driver's education should be required as part of the mandatory high school curriculum. In addition, the tiered licensing approach works well to ease younger drivers into greater responsibility.
Question #5: If you could improve or enact one law or regulation to improve overall traffic safety, what would it be and why?
Jonathan: We don't ask folks to get in a fork lift and know how to operate them safely and forklifts don't go fast and don't have in dash movie players and cell phones. Why should we expect a new driver to safely operate a car at 70 miles per hour? One regulation that would improve driver safety is more required education and training to avoid distractions. This training should be mandated both before getting a license and after a moving violation or preventable accident. There is nothing wrong with additional training. Driving is not a right, it is a privilege.
June 16, 2011, by The Law Office of Larry R. Williams, PLLC